How to Create the PERFECT Shelfie

February 6, 2023 - Michelle Murphy

If you’re all over social media (like me, hehe), then it’s probably pretty likely that you’ve heard of a selfie.

But, have you heard of a shelfie?

(Don’t worry if you’re like, “Ummmm, what is a shelfie?” - you’re not alone!)

A shelf selfie - aka, a shelfie - is the result of photographing a styled shelf to create an aesthetic design image that’s so captivating, it’s worthy of HGTV. Creating amazing shelfies isn’t hard either - all it takes is an understanding of some basic shelf styling principles!

To help you get started, I’ve put together a guide full of shelf styling tips and shelfie ideas that you can use for inspiration.

So get ready to take your shelves from boring to beautiful with this guide to creating the perfect shelfie!

Modern calgary condo reno built in shelves

Shelfie 101

Shelfies are quickly becoming a popular design trend on social media, with more and more people taking shelf photos and styling their shelves for a unique look.

Shelfies are simple to create, don’t require a large budget, can be used as decorative pieces in your home, and give you a chance to show off your creative skills!

Say No to Clutter

First things first - make sure your shelves are clutter-free! Decluttering will help you visualize the space and give you a more clear styling direction.

Additionally, when creating the perfect shelfie, the last thing you want is ‘mess’ interfering with or blocking your display.

Need some organization tips? Find them in Keys to Organization!

Modern calgary kitchen

Create Layers

Seamless shelf styling requires arranging objects on shelves in a pleasing way, which can be achieved using layers and putting items of different heights and textures together.

For example, try placing a candle on a stack of books or pairing a tall plant with small decorative bowls!

Use Props Strategically

Using a variety of items like books, plants, vases, and other decorative objects is the key to making shelfies look great.

If you’re feeling really creative, try adding elements such as frames or art pieces that have special meaning to you. The possibilities are endless – so have fun with it!

Modern bookshelf

Stay Asymmetric

Unlike traditional design ‘rules’, shelfies that stray from symmetry with different shapes and directions are much more intriguing and thought-provoking.

Be Odd

Have you ever noticed that art galleries typically display an odd number of paintings on a wall?

Well, as it turns out, there might be a scientific reason for this.

Research suggests that our brains recognize symmetry in even numbers and therefore, we tend to ignore them, as they simply feel natural to us. With odd-number pairings, on the other hand, our brains lose the ability to group them automatically and therefore, we feel the need to extend our gaze.

Odd numbers create interest, so group items in 1’s and 3’s instead of 2’s and 4’s - it’s science!

Modern bookshelf


Whether it’s using bold colours and patterns or different trinkets and ornaments that complement each other, try experimenting with a variety of shelf arrangements.

Don’t be afraid to move things around until you’re happy with your shelfie!

Happy Shelfie-ing!

What’d I tell ya!?

Between decluttering, creating layers, and using props, the art of the shelfie is easy-peasy. Shelfie styling is an easy way to show your personality and add some expert-level design flare to your home.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to creating the perfect shelfie!

For more helpful design tips just like this one, follow me on Instagram or contact me today!

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